TEHRAN, Iran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's support in Iran's parliament crumbled as final results released Saturday showed conservative rivals consolidating their hold on the legislative body in a runoff vote.
Iran had touted a robust turnout for Friday's vote as a show of support for the country's religious leadership in its confrontation with the West over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program.
The result is also a new humiliation for Ahmadinejad, whose political decline started last year with his bold but failed challenge of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over the choice of intelligence chief.
Though usually in agreement with the conservatives on foreign policy and many other issues, Ahmadinejad had tried to change the rules of the political game in Iran, where the president and legislature are subordinate to religious figures such as Khamenei.
Ahmadinejad's opponents had already won an outright majority in the 290-member legislature in the first round of voting in March. Of 65 seats up for grabs in Friday's runoff election, Ahmadinejad's opponents won 41 and the president's supporters got only 13 seats. Independents won 11, according to final results reported Saturday by state media.
There were no claims of the kind of irregularities that touched off huge protests in 2009 over accusations that the results were rigged. But the ruling system vets the candidates in advance, which eliminates the harshest critics.
Iran's major reformist parties, which oppose Ahmadinejad and the conservatives, mostly did not field candidates.
The president's supporters had their best showing in the capital, Tehran. Ahmadinejad's conservative critics won 16 seats and his supporters took nine.
The new parliament will begin its sessions in late May.